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Florida Probate Blog

Posts Tagged: attorney’s fees

Bad Faith and Attorney’s Fees

Written by on Aug 10, 2009| Posted in: Estate Litigation

I believe the reasons for both the milder renunciation rule and for the requirement of bad faith announced in Lane is to promote beneficiaries ability and willingness to come forward with their concerns of undue influence and incapacity to the court without fear of reprisal or punishment.

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Personal Representative’s and Attorney’s Fees in Probate

Written by on Jun 16, 2009| Posted in: General

Attorneys who represent the personal representative or otherwise provide services to the probate estate are generally entitled to fees as allowed under the Florida Probate Code. Fla.Stat. §733.6171. In order to be entitled to fees, however, the attorney, or anyone else (like an accountant) seeking fees from the estate must show that the services provided were beneficial to the estate. What constitutes a “benefit” to an estate is often subject to debate, but most will agree that an attorney benefits an estate by bringing about an enhancement in value or an increase in the assets of the estate or by aiding in establishing the intent of the decedent and the proper division of the estate generally. A good discussion of what benefits an estate can be found in Segal v. Levine, 489 So.2d 868 (Fla.3d DCA 1986).

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A Curator’s Concern

Written by on Jun 15, 2009| Posted in: General

Court of Appeals Says Curator Cannot Impose Lien on Occupied Homestead Property What is a Curator? Sometimes curators are appointed by the probate court to administer the estate under certain circumstances where a personal representative or executor cannot serve. There are a variety of these situations, but what always remains the same is the general duty of the curator to collect the testator’s effects, pay claims against his estate, and distribute the residue to those entitled. Also uniform, is the well settled law in Florida that curator or personal representative does not have an unrestricted right to use estate assets as his own, and the probate code provides that assets of an estate shall be assets in the hands of personal representative or curator for specific purposes only, with significant restriction that he or she act reasonably for the benefit of the interested persons. A curator’s possession of estate assets […]

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Incapacity and Guardianship Loopholes

Written by on Mar 2, 2009| Posted in: Guardianship Litigation

Fifth District Court of Appeals Encourages Legislature to Clarify Statute The decision of whether and when to petition for incapacity of an elderly relative is challenging and can rarely be accomplished without the assistance of an experienced practitioner. However, even with an experienced attorney the frustration level is high for parties involved in the guardianship process, due in part to the lack of clarity and direction contained in the relevant portions of the law. The procedure for asking a Florida court to declare someone incapacitated is codified in Florida Statute §744.331(4) which explains the process following the petition to determine incapacity: “Within 5 days after a petition for determination of incapacity has been filed, the court shall appoint an examining committee consisting of three members. One member must be a psychiatrist or other physician. The remaining members must be either a psychologist, gerontologist, another psychiatrist, or other physician, a registered […]

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